Robert Ross

Robert “Bobby” Ross is the CEO and co-founder of FireHydrant. Formerly of Namely, DigitalOcean, and Thunderbolt Labs. Based in New York City, enjoys a great cocktail, bleeding-edge tech, and making software that helps teams build better systems.


Avoid frostbite: Stop doing code freezes

A code freeze is intentionally halting changes to your codebase and environments in an effort to reduce the risk of an outage.On the surface, pausing on deployments feels like a logical solution to preventing incidents. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Read more

Robert Ross 2021-11-11

Reliability is not an engineering metric

Reliability is not a metric that engineering alone controls, everyone in the business has a substantial stake in the reliability your customers feel. Read more

Robert Ross 2021-09-30

Getting Started with Site Reliability Engineering

This is a quick primer to get started in Site Reliability Engineering if you're interested in becoming a Site Reliability Engineer (SRE). Read more

Robert Ross 2021-08-16

We’ve raised a $23M Series B to help us get to a world where all software is reliable

We envision a world where all software is reliable, and we’re on a mission to help every company that builds or operates software get closer to 100% reliability. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve raised $23 million to help us further our goal. Read more

Robert Ross 2021-08-10
Pragmatic Incident Reponse

Pragmatic Incident Response: 3 Lessons Learned from Failures

Lessons learned from the front line that you actually immediately use in your incident management process. Read more

Robert Ross 2021-07-15

The MTTR that matters

We're over MTTR(esolution), but have you thought about MTTR(etro)? Read more

Robert Ross 2021-06-10
reliabilitydevopsincident managementretrospective

Four things to consider when evaluating incident management platforms

Four things to consider when evaluating incident management platforms--from whether you have the culture and process to support a potential tool, to understanding your pain points, to knowing which key stakeholders to involve. Read more

Robert Ross 2021-05-26

Alert Fatigue and Your Health

Alert fatigue can not only cost not only cause more errors and financially impact your business but can also be detrimental to your health. This post goes over how alert fatigue manifests and some ideas on how to combat it, Read more

Robert Ross 2021-03-09

It's Time We Throw Out the Usage of 'Postmortem'

Why are we using the term 'postmortem' when no one died? In any other job, conducting a postmortem means someone perished, so we need to switch to another phrase to lessen the gruesomeness of software incidents. I wanted to provide some ideas that your organization could possibly run with as a replacement to “Postmortem.” Read more

Robert Ross 2021-02-10

New Feature: Incident Types

Incidents are inevitable, and the reality is some of them are inevitably going to repeat themselves. Common incident types were slightly burdensome for our customers, so we're announcing an easy way to declare incidents using templates. Read more

Robert Ross 2021-01-27

2021 is the Year of Reliability

We all know it: You expect your software tools to work every time, all the time. Let's do better this year - there’s no better time than now to dedicate effort to fireproofing your software. Read more

Robert Ross 2021-01-19

The Final Episode - Episode 10 of Throughput Thursdays

We made it to our final episode! Thank you to everyone that tuned in and watched Bobby get a Terraform provider up and running. We hope you enjoyed watching me through the good, bad, and ugly these past 20 or so hours. Read more

Robert Ross 2020-12-04

Configuring a Runbook - Episode 9 of Throughput Thursdays

In episode 9 of Throughput Thursdays, we work to configure a Runbook and get it to work! Watch part 1 of our two-part finale below to see what happens. Read more

Robert Ross 2020-11-20

Breaking down the interface - Episode 8 of Throughput Thursdays

In episode 8 of Throughput Thursdays, we break down all the logically grouped pieces into their own interfaces and create an interface on our client that can return. Read more

Robert Ross 2020-11-13

More New Terraform Resources - Episode 7 of Throughput Thursdays

In episode 7, we create resources for managing teams and severities through the Terraform provider, which means we now can now manage more of users’ FireHydrant configurations with code. Read more

Robert Ross 2020-10-30

Creating a Data Source - Episode 6 of Throughput Thursdays

In Episode 6, we update our Terraform resource for FireHydrant functionalities and create a data source for FireHydrant services. This allows us to pull services from a list and link them to functionalities. Linking resources like this lets us do a lot of cool things with Terraform. Read more

Robert Ross 2020-10-23

Testing Our Terraform Resources - Episode 5 of Throughput Thursdays

In this episode of Throughput Thursdays, we test our Terraform resources. If you missed it, you can watch it here. Read more

Robert Ross 2020-10-09

Adding Two Terraform Resources - Episode 4 of Throughput Thursdays

In episode 4, we were able to achieve creating two full-blown Terraform resources for FireHydrant environments and functionalities. While simple resources, they unlock a lot of power that did not exist previously for teams that want to document their infrastructure using Terraform. Read more

Robert Ross 2020-10-02

Fixing Some Code Sins - Episode 3 of Throughput Thursdays

In episode 3, we built a flexible API client for our Terraform provider that implements a really simple interface. We also wrote some simple but effective tests and replaced the original cruft in the provider code with our new API client. Read more

Robert Ross 2020-09-25

Build Your API First

Going API first will save you headaches in the long run. This post shares why choosing to go API first from Day 1 will be a game-changer for your business, and the decisions we made at FireHydrant to do this. Read more

Robert Ross 2020-09-21

Live from Cape Cod - Episode 2 of Throughput Thursdays

In Episode 2, Bobby is live in Cape Cod, sitting on a dock about 4 inches from the edge of a lake. Last week we built a skeleton of a Terraform provider. Now we’ll get the provider to create and delete resources, like services in FireHydrant. Read more

Robert Ross 2020-09-18

We’re Building a Terraform Provider! - Episode 1 of Throughput Thursdays

In Episode 1, we started out the Terraform provider with a simple data resource against the FireHydrant API. We were able to successfully retrieve information about a single service and display its name in our terminal! Read more

Robert Ross 2020-09-11

July Product Updates: Status Pages, Incident Redesign, and more

Fire hydrants usually have a firehose hooked up, and do we have a firehose of updates this July. We’ve been focused on making FireHydrant simpler to use and more deeply integrated with existing workflows to make managing your complex systems easier. Read more

Robert Ross 2020-07-17

The Culture of the Codebase

We like to have fun when we build our product - read about how Rebecca Black's "Friday" snuck its way into our codebase. Read more

Robert Ross 2020-06-24

Announcing Our Series A

For the past year we've seen over 50,000 hours of incidents, 20,000 runbook actions automated, and 10 million deploy events, and we're happy to announce our $8M Series A led by Menlo Ventures. Read more

Robert Ross 2020-05-20

The Old Fashioned

Bobby shares his new hobby: making craft cocktails. In this post we’re going to make a classic: The Old Fashioned. Read more

Robert Ross 2020-04-21

Avoid Institutionalized Incident Nonsense

How to get past the nonsense and look at problems differently. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-11-12
FireHydrant PlatformFireHydrant Runbooks

Announcing Runbooks

Announcing our most powerful feature yet: FireHydrant Runbooks is a better way to automate your incidents. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-10-17

NFS with Docker on macOS Catalina

You like living on the edge, life is fun on the edge until the edge is a macOS major update. Then you use vibrantly colorful words, some that your dead ancestors heard, all because your development environment now doesn’t work in spectacular fashion. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-10-08

Dynamic Kubernetes Informers

How we updated our Kubernetes integration at FireHydrant. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-08-28

Announcing our Integration

Announcing our latest integration with Read more

Robert Ross 2019-08-22

3 Defensive Programming Techniques for Rails

Incidents happen all the time because of bad code deploys. Defensive programming is great for codifying how a bug could be introduced, and raising an error right before it would happen, or choosing an alternative path. Here are some simple ideas to defend yourself against simple mistakes. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-07-29

A Gophers Guide to San Diego

The FireHydrant team is dominantly from San Diego, 3 of our 4 person team actually. We’re here to enjoy the awesome community that Go has been creating and to meet new faces. But we also wanted to give back a little with a small guide on food and drinks in Downtown San Diego. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-07-24

Product Updates: July 2019

Our latest updates - let anyone open an incident in Slack, the launch of Severity Matrix, and a new integration with Jira. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-07-12

Announcing Flare: Make Opening Incidents Stress Free

We’re launching a new feature today that allows anyone in your organization to kick off your incident response process with an appropriate severity level attached from Slack. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-06-28

So You Want To Give A Tech Talk?

So you’ve signed up to give a tech talk, awesome! You’re a subject matter expert in something and want to share your knowledge, that’s what helps make a community awesome. You’re going to be speaking in front of a room of people that you don’t know in a place you’ve likely never been, talking about something you confidently know. Sounds easy, right? Read more

Robert Ross 2019-06-12

New Features: Webhooks + Saved Searches

Read more about our latest releases - we've launched webhooks and now you can keep your frequent searches for later. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-06-03
FireHydrant Platform

Severity Matrix Updates

We’re on a mission to make responding to incidents a bit less chaotic. One of the best features we offer (we’re definitely not biased, no way) is a simple way to define how a severity gets determined when you open an incident. We call it the severity matrix, and today it has a new look. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-05-28

Rails without Webpacker

We recently removed webpacker from our Rails 5 application. This is a summary of the steps you can take to use vanilla webpack in your Rails application. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-05-28

SLO, SLA, SLI Oh My! Creating Them Can Be Easy

How to get started on creating your SLO, SLA, and SLI's. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-05-16

Instrumenting Ruby on Rails with Prometheus

If you’re running a production application, you need metrics. In the Rails community, this is commonly achieved with NewRelic and Skylight; but we achieve visibility using Prometheus and Grafana. Check out this guide on how to use Rails with Prometheus. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-05-05

Understanding Istio Ingress

Istio is a hot technology right now. Giants such as Google and IBM have devoted entire teams of engineers to the project to push it to production readiness. Check out this post on getting to know Istio Ingress. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-05-02

Develop a Go app with Docker Compose

Learn how to structure a Go application with Docker Compose as your development environment. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-05-01

Developing a Ruby on Rails app with Docker Compose

Learn how to set up a new Rails app in Docker compose. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-05-01
How To

Flexible Ruby on Rails Reader Objects

Rails and ActiveRecord provide a simple interface for retrieving information from a database. With a few characters, I can retrieve all of my users with User.all. This simplicity is great, but it breaks down when you start doing more advanced queries. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-05-01

New Releases: SSO, Post Mortem Generator

Our latest product releases: SSO, Post Mortem Generator. Today we're happy to announce our single sign-on support and updates to our postmortem functionality. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-05-01

Stay Informed with Kubernetes Informers

FireHydrant has a changelog feature with a Kubernetes integration - read how our changelog works with Kubernetes. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-05-01

How FireHydrant Creates Data in Rails

How FireHydrant is built to support creating data in our integration-ready platform. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-04-23

New Feature: Incident Status Pages

Today we're happy to release our incident status page feature! If you operate within an organization that has stakeholders that need the gist of what's going on, how to respond to customers, and give a general feeling of "we're on it," this feature was built for you. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-04-11

Announcing FireHydrant, a Tool to Manage Incidents

Today we're publicly launching FireHydrant, a tool to manage incidents. Read more about our journey. Read more

Robert Ross 2019-04-02